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Unfortunately problems with drains caused by hair are a common, and often the only solution is a specially designed drain unclogger for hair blockages. But the best solution will vary depending on your situation.
Drain blockages happen at home usually due to hair either falling off naturally whilst washing, or due to intentional depilation (removal of hair) in the bath or shower.
Hairs may be caught in the outlet of the bath or shower, sometimes known as a plughole or drainhole, and can be easily removed by hand before it enters the drain system. Though it is not a pleasant task, this is the best method of removing hair before it can become an issue.
However, if the drainhole does not catch the hairs, they can enter the drainage system and pose a problem. The severity of the problem can vary wildly depending on how much hair enters the system.
Like any drain blockage, a build up of hair will prevent the flow of water and the system will begin to back up. This may present as slow drainage of the bath or shower, or a complete stoppage of water draining. This can lead to flooding and damage to the surrounding area if not carefully monitored.
If the hair makes it into the main drainage system, it may combine with other common drain blocking culprits such as fat or non-flushable wipes and cause more serious damage. This will mean all types of waste water from your property will not be able to enter the main sewer system and eventually back up, which can present with overflowing unclean water.
This water is highly unhygienic and can be unpleasant for all nearby due to odor.
Furthermore, with larger properties such as hotels, where there are often many people contributing to waste water, blockages can occur on a much larger and a much more damaging scale. This can be hugely expensive to repair and even lead to loss of business.
Hair blockages are considered TSS accumulations (total suspended solids) alongside industrial waste build up. These are generally more difficult to break up and remove than fat, oils and grease blockages. This kind of blockage usually requires a much stronger chemical drain cleaner.
If the blockage cannot be removed via the bath or shower outlet, either by hand or a plunger, then a chemical drain cleaner will likely be the best option. You can usually purchase these types of cleaner at your local plumbing store, DIY shop or even many supermarkets.
However, you should always be conscious of the following when using chemical drain cleaner, even those marked for domestic use:
You should also read the ingredients contained in the solution and what kind of damage they might cause to your system if used incorrectly, and always follow instructions closely.
The best solution will vary depending on the type of property in question. Whilst a hair blockage in a domestic scenario will usually be fixed with a domestic drain cleaner, a larger blockage, such as those faced by hospitals and hotels, will need a professional unclogging solution.
NCH Asia Pacific offers a range of industrial drain unclogging solutions for various sectors. If all else fails, you can also contact us to discuss a full drain unblocking and treatment solution to get your system flowing normally again.